Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mt. Moosilauke & South Peak for Sunset - 7/30/14

This little adventure here is another one of my recent mid-week night jaunts up above 4,000 feet.  This time, it was the convenient Mt. Moosilauke on Wednesday, July 30th, and I had a date with sunset on the summit.  I'm hardly ever late for anything except work, but either way my goal for this one was to work hard, stay on point, focused, and push myself to guarantee my arrival for sunset....and then, of course, enjoy it!  With it being 6:15pm and just the Glencliff Trail ahead, I know that it wouldn't be a problem, as I've done this whole hike in 3.5 hours before.
The field before the start of the Glencliff Trail
Glencliff Trail to Moosilauke 
TIP: An evening hike up the Glencliff Trail is always nice because
you have the setting sun for longer on the West side of the Mountain
Indeed it was not a problem.  I made it to the Carriage road, three miles up in one hour flat at 7:10pm, which meant I had plenty of time to visit South Peak before sunset at 8:14pm.  I had not been to South Peak since April of 2012, so I was excited to be up here with such great evening weather and an awesome view of the Moose. 
South Peak spur, with the sun shining through the trees 
Moosilauke, South Peak with the main peak being the tallest
Panorama from South Peak  
After a few short minutes, I dipped back down the spur to the Carriage Trail and started up the last .6 miles to summit.  I arrived at 8:06pm, just a few minutes under two hours from my start, and 8 minutes early for my date with sunset.  This was my 9th time to the summit of Moosilauke, and my 90th 4,000 footer in 2014.  After pushing it up the mountain at nearly 3mph, I took a lengthy break up on top, about 40 minutes enjoying the beautiful night.  The moon was out with the sunset, and it was clear and the most calm ever on Moosilauke. I did not see a single person the entire time, which really made this hike and summit special because its rare, even if it was a Wednesday night.
Sunset from the summit of Moosilauke 
My 9th Moosilauke summit 

After finishing this one, I drove back to MA, arriving home at midnight.  Its totally awesome that certain days I can leave work, drive to NH, bag a 4,000-footer, and get home by midnight.  I need to get these mid-week jaunts on a more strict schedule with myself.  However, I can promise that there will be a couple of these in the next two weeks, as I get ready for an upcoming adventure.  Thanks for reading! 
Hike Stats
Trails: Glencliff Trail, Moosilauke Carriage Road
Distance: 9 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,731 ft.
Actual Book Time: 4:45

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